Everyday Carry and the Get Home Gun

Most of the work we do when prepping stays at home. But you may not be home when disaster strikes. What then? I carry every day, but there are times that a 9mm in a IWB holster simply isn’t enough. I wanted a rock-solid way to insure that I had everything I need. And here it is, my take on the get-home-gun, and everything that goes with it.

Back in January, when wicked winter weather was dumping snow on the South, I sat secure in my little cottage with my wood stove blazing. I live out in the boondocks for a reason. But I grew up in Atlanta, and I know how Southerners respond to snow. Had it happened a few years earlier, I would have been stuck in the massive traffic jam that resulted in 23-hour commutes. I might have spent a cold night in the back of an immobile vehicle.

If I’m going to have to park my truck and get out and walk, I like to be prepared. I’d prefer a compact or full-sized handgun in a substantial caliber. There is always the possibility that it could be dark, or get dark, so a flashlight is a handy addition. A holster will help hold the gun, and hide it. A good knife and a multitool will round out the preparations. A cell phone is a necessity. I like to have a way to start a fire, too. And I need a way to contain it all. Dumping it all behind the seat of my truck isn’t going to cut it.

get home 2

The gun

I’ve been carrying a GLOCK 19 for about six months now, and I like the simplicity of the gun. It is compact enough to carry concealed, and large enough to make a strong visual impression. It has a decently high magazine capacity (15 rounds of 9mm) and can also accept larger GLOCK 17 magazines. The gun doesn’t have any manual safeties (other than the trigger block), which makes it an intuitive gun in stressful situations.

GLOCK 19 $649

get home 5

OWB that’s easy to conceal

Holsters are easy to come by. Finding the right one is far more complicated. There are few places that will allow you to test drive a holster, so you have to work on blind faith, or past experiences. I’ve come to trust Tony Catner at Multi Holsters. This is a 2-in-1 Multi Holster.

This holster set includes a magazine pouch that will hold two magazines.  The holster is built for a GLOCK 19 with an Inforce APL light.  When I’m carrying the 19 concealed, I wear a very similar IWB Multi Holster.  Though it doesn’t accommodate the light, and I carry it in a slightly different position, I like the continuity. I wear this one OWB, but it is still concealable. The holster hugs really close to the hip and doesn’t print too badly.

You can read more about Multi Holsters here:Multi Holsters.


What about a weapon light?

Night sights are great, but they work best in really dark surroundings. I’ve always been cautions about shooting something I can’t see clearly, and bright night sights aren’t going to illuminate the target. You need a weapon light. I’ve run several weapon lights, and I’ve settled on this one for my personal use. The switch is easy to access with a finger in the off-trigger ready position. The APL is bright, but not so overbuilt that it requires bulky battery housings. The light itself is extremely easy to use. It draws easily from the holster. The tan color would look better on a tan gun, but it was the only color available when I went looking.

Inforce APL $124.99

get home 1

A more subtle light

That may not be enough, though.  A good weapon light will serve you well on the end of a gun, but it can be awkward using it as a flashlight in situations where the appearance of a gun might be, well…misunderstood.  An extra flashlight is always a good idea. I like the compact lights from Four Sevens. Their Preon pen light is useful as a light, and large enough to use as a kuboton. This is the type of light I carry with me all the time. The Preon is at home in the front pocket of a dress shirt’ as it is in the pen holder of my man-purse. It runs on AAA batteries, so it is helpful to have some of those on hand, too.

Four Sevens Preon P2 $50

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Knives and tools

The knives are from Gerber. I’ve always got a pocketknife tucked away in a pocket, but a good fixed blade is a good asset. This is the CFB, and it is a pugilistic knife. The rubber handle and aggressive jimping make for a solid grip. The sheath comes with a nylon cover that allows the knife to be worn in a multitude of ways. I’m not wearing this one regularly, but like having it around. It fits in the case, so that is where it lives for now. The multitool, a Multi-Plier 600 Sight Tool, is also a good addition to the kit. It is the one thing that’s likely to be forgotten, as I usually carry it in my pocket, too. The Sight Tool has some useful features for AR shooters.

Gerber CFB $154, Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Sight Tool $95

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Extra magazines

The magazines are self explanatory, I think. I like to be prepared. The green MTM Caseguard box helps hold extra ammo. As a student of ballistics, I believe in situational awareness. I often carry Hornady Critical Defense in the summer. The round performs well, and is easy to control. I like to keep some Critical Duty on hand (which packs a bigger punch), and will sometimes have other special loads that I don’t carry regularly. In the case now are Critical Duty rounds and Federal Guard Dog rounds. The space below the MTM box is cut to accept a standard 25-round 9mm box. I will often keep three of the 19 mags loaded with basic target loads and a couple of mags ready for carry.  Having slots in the case at differing orientations allows me to stay organized and consistent. All told, I can keep a lot of ammo in the case, 174 rounds (if I keep a loaded mag in the gun).


Extra power

I keep a back up battery for my cell phone in the open space of the holster. If you wind up spending any time away from home, having one of these can be very useful. I use it most often to charge up my son’s iPad when we’re out on road trips. The Powerpak Xtreme is a great device and has lights that indicate how much juice is left.

Powerpak Xtreme NT120R Backup Battery $51

get home 3

The extras that you can’t ignore

I keep a wide web belt under the holster just in case I’m caught out wearing a thin dress-up belt. The belt fits neatly below the magazine holder. The extra cut-outs in the case can hold a lighter, more tools, ear plugs, and any other gizmos. There are battery cut outs for various sizes, too. I sometimes include a pair of Mechanix gloves. They’re great shooting gloves and provide solid protection without sacrificing too much control.


Find the right case

The case itself is a Seahorse. I’m a huge proponent of waterproof cases. Seahorse makes a solid line that can stand up to daily use and abuse. They’re rock solid cases and they’re very competitively priced  While my main objective was to get a case that was substantial enough to actually use, I needed one that looked rather innocuous. Most of the available laptop cases were a bit thin, but this one isn’t. It is a SE-710. The compact design makes it look more like a briefcase. It also fits inside a large messenger bag. The case is easy to obfuscate, which means you can carry all of this gear without looking like you’re headed off to war.

Read a full review of the case here:Seahorse Cases.

Seahorse SE-710 $45


Cutting the foam

And once you pick your case, I’d suggest you look to MyCaseBuilder.com for the foam. They have the most user-friendly software that allows you to build a custom case, just like this one.  They even have a photo transfer tool that allows you to take a picture of a holster, or anything, and input some basic measurements to achieve really custom shapes.  I used it for the holster on this one.  The mag cut outs were already programed in, as was the gun. I added extra space around the sights, to accommodate taking it in and out. The rest of the cuts are simple geometric shapes. You determine placement, and depth. I really pushed the limits with this design and tried to get as much into one case as I reasonably could. I’m not worrying about anything in the case breaking, so I trimmed the padding down to a bare minimum.

Read a complete review of MyCaseBuilder.com here:MyCaseBuilder.com.

Seahorse 2

Everything you need, organized

All told, prepping requires a significant investment. Yet consider what you’re investing in. I take this case with me now. If I’m on the road, so is the case. It is subtle and unobtrusive. It is easy to hide in a car, even easier to hide in a car’s trunk. And if I ever get into a situation when I’m away from home, I’d stand a much better chance of getting back in one piece.

What’s in your EDC arsenal? What’s missing from mine?



{ 60 comments… add one }
  • Mike H April 14, 2017, 11:24 pm

    A few years after the last post. I have to ask, where do you live? Mogadishu? Why on Earth do you need so many rounds to get home? It would take me 8 hours or so to get home on foot from work. Worst case, it’s hard to envision a scenario where 8 hours is enough to turn even bad areas of my city into a leather-clad, spiky, anarchistic collect-your-scalp-because-The-Humongous-demands-it scenario. People might begin to freak a little in 24 hours without inbound food/water, but the rampant mayhem all that ammo suggests is simply not there.
    Look, carrying a pistol is for stopping an imminent threat and/or breaking contact altogether, not suppressing regional uprisings or hosing down big bad cartel henchmen with double-fisted glocks and unlimited movie 9mm. How many reading this (besides the government operator hunting bad guys) have needed to ever switch out even one pistol magazine in a gunfight? Not me! I’ve been to 3rd world countries more civil than that. Guess what? Odds are you won’t need to in the 1st 24 hours most of us need to get home.
    OP, ditch the kool case and ditch the cute foam. Ditch some mags. Better still, if you are able to carry concealed – THAT is your get home gun, whatever it happens to be right now. The one on your body. Not perp-bait kept out in your car. Get a good nondescript pack and put useful and practical 24 hour stuff in it. Leave room to spare. Carry it with you all the time. Adjust for environmental and civil climate as needed.
    I’m no expert, but I’m getting tired of this ridiculous prepper fantasy garbage.

    • Ronin October 1, 2017, 12:10 pm

      Glad you live in such a place where you don’t have to worry as much.
      Looking at places in the world where these kind’s of things happen a side arm and a rifle will be needed.
      Some say it’ll take 3 days or 9 meals. That depends on where you live. I live 30 miles form my home and if the scenario includes an EMP which is likely these days instead of taking 30 to 45 minutes home will go to days if not a week or over. I will have to swing by and pick up my wife and child. My wife is a school teacher and will not leave till her children are picked up by their parents. That adds time to my scenario.
      Your not the only one to visit 3rd world countries and my experience is different than yours where calm goes from shtf in 0 to 10 seconds.
      In a short term scenario you may be right or wrong. Point is to be prepared for what may happen.

      To each his own, plan for what may happen and let history be your guide.
      I had friends in Somalia that wish they had taken their extra gear (water, food, night vision, etc…)
      What you or I think may be wrong. Do your best by reading history where SHTF events took place and plan the best you can!

  • Alysha Stanger January 27, 2016, 2:02 pm

    Timely commentary . For my two cents , if your company want to merge two PDF files , my colleagues used a tool here http://goo.gl/kSg60I

  • Sgt Ducttape January 6, 2015, 2:19 pm

    Good ideas. I like it as a start. In my EDC I also include a LLBean rain jacket which can rollup into a tiny ball. A large black trash bag (contractor’s bag) is incredibly multi purpose and takes up almost no space. A small ID card sized piece of plastic can be wrapped with several layers of ducttape which has infinite uses. A small butane lighter wrapped and sealed in a plastic bag. Forget the stainless steel knife and get something high carbon; like maybe this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00816PZ8W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 . That and a ferro rod, a fresnel lens, and some strike anywhere matches and you might get something lit. While a multi-tool is a must, I would also add a 4″ locking pliers and a small stainless steel bowl. A water/food bowl for a small dog/cat would be more than fine. You can clamp the pliers to the rim and it becomes a pan, also a good container is hard to replicate. I carry the Glock 37 because “most” other Glock mags will fit in it and I added the Lone Wolf Dist. 9m/m conv. barrel and also carry an extra recoil spring pack. Multipurpose stuff that doesn’t take up a lot of space or is heavy. Folks above mentioned a first aid kit, that is too easy. Packing a small compass might be handy as well. My EDC is also my “Get to my truck” pack where I have a larger BOB type bag in my truck box. With this I hope to get home or to “Alt Home #2”. Plan to succeed or you are planning to fail.

  • Rocky December 31, 2014, 12:05 pm

    As I’ve discovered, from experience, keeping a weapon, in a case, in your vehicle is a bad idea. I lost a perfectly good Ruger PK89 9mm, several extra mags and a nice mag light that way. Someone discovered my locked vehicle and wondered what I was trying to protect, by looking in it, thus causing them to break my truck’s wing vent, pry open my locked glove box , discover the extra magazines and mag light, then continue looking until they found my pistol, locked in it’s case, under the front seat.
    These days all of the above (albeit sans case and with a much smaller flashlight ) go on my belt and in my pockets, along with a good assisted opening knife. ‘Do Not Carry’ signs be damned, I’m simply Not going to leave my weapons alone to be stolen ever again, if I can help it.

  • jeff July 14, 2014, 6:01 pm

    My thoughts exactly. Years ago the NRA sold a great little surviva kit with cute little foam inserts for a Blast match, etc. but by removing the foam I was able to triple the available carrying space . . .

  • John July 14, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Everybody will have different needs based on their environment but for me I carry a GHB made by Maxpedition. I can fit an IFAK, some food, a multi-tool, several different fire starters, water purifier straw and tablets, stainless steel water bottle, back up gun(.327 revolver), 550 cord, duct tape, some trash bags, zip ties, small pry bar, lock picks, small tent floor cover for shelter, safety pins, pens, markers, fishing kit, snare wire, whistle, signal mirror, compass, map of my area, GMS radio, extra socks, extra meds, notepad, folding knife and a 6″ fixed blade. I also have a CCW Glock model 30 with 3 spare mags and a bullpup AK47 in the truck with 6 mags that I can carry concealed with a duster jacket. I live in a very rural area and I would only be worried if I encountered trouble in the city and had to walk my way home due to an EMP or some event like that. Otherwise I would feel the only real risk would be the environment and or food/ water. I know my bag is over engineered for a lot of people but I feel that it is right for me. This is my GHB not my EDC, my EDC is similar but is much smaller in scope.

  • Bryan July 14, 2014, 2:34 pm

    Nice set up, but I carry the glock 22 or my 23 and with that a I have a Lone Wolf Conversion Barrels that can make my .40 cal into a 9mm if I run out of ammo and yes you can use your .40 cal mags with 9mm, they do fit. That’s the 4th Gen, I don’t know about the 3rd gen…

  • jeff July 14, 2014, 8:25 am

    Looks like something Q would issue to 007 . .
    What are you supposed to do with the expensive case once the SHTF and it’s bug out time???
    Seems a quality day pack would be MUCH more practical, plus allowing one to carry water bottles and food, 1st aid kit, etc.
    To each his own, I guess

  • Larry Corrie June 29, 2014, 2:42 am

    I like to have some Nonleathal Pepper Spray , just for a situational go too !

  • Joe June 25, 2014, 2:28 am

    I live in and work in a Rocky Mountains (Utah) and getting home while on a trip can be as close as 50 miles or as much as 600 miles or more. Make that trip in the winter off the main interstate and you may have some real problems. Here’s a few things people have left out. A backup supply of any prescriptions if your a diabetic like me that could be a life saver. Small snow shovel to dig out from said snow storm. Here in the West it’s common to have storms that drop 12″ per hour. I also carry freeze dried food lots of water and a pump shot gun with 16″ barrel. Many of the bad guys out this way have sharp teeth and claws and many handgun calibers just don’t work on Grizzly bears. One last thing to always have is a good rope or cord and duct tape they have lots of uses.

  • DaleC June 25, 2014, 2:08 am

    Excellent weapons kit and the link to “MyCaseBuilder.com” may be the most valuable thing in your article, for me. Yes, there is way too much ammo for a true “get home”, but, as you said, the kit serves multiple uses. I am betting you have other supplies like water, food, etc. I have lived in Atlanta and Birmingham and understand the need for this kit, especially if it is a “locker” whose contents are deployed onto your body and a less conspicuous bag. These towns shut down when the ice (NOT snow) hits. People talking about water filters, sleeping bags, bivvy gear, etc, don’t understand the scope of a “get home” setup in the southeast. We aren’t in the middle of Montana/Texas/Arizona and can, easily, walk home in a few hours.

    I would recommend the Streamlight TLR-1 over the Inforce. It is smaller, more durable, brighter and cheaper. I have never dealt with InForce, but you can’t beat Streamlight service.

    For those advocating a long gun for a “get home” gun – Concealment is a major benefit and LEO’s look unfavorably on people walking down the road with an AR/AK, as do local news and citizens. Also, storing a long gun in a lot of vehicles can be difficult.

    My most important “get home” gear includes a good set of boots, gloves and headgear. I keep my Bates 8″ side-zip tacticals, Pearl Izumi winer bicycle gloves (warm and very good dexterity, check them out) and a fleece hood in my vehicle. The boots are there year round. My knife is a fixed blade Fire/EMT “rescue” knife. It is a useful tool and less “tactical” (aka “scary”) looking than some others. My light is a larger Streamlight Twin Task 3C that runs on C-cell batts. I invert one batt in the light to prevent leakage and keep a spare set in the box. In a pinch, I can probably find batts at a convenience store. Also, a 9″ aluminum tube has a LOT of uses other than a light. A Petzl headlamp is also a good idea.

    BTW, I get a kick out of the “ammo connoisseurs” 🙂

    • db June 27, 2014, 9:02 am

      “People talking about water filters, sleeping bags, bivvy gear, etc, don’t understand the scope of a “get home” setup in the southeast. We aren’t in the middle of Montana/Texas/Arizona and can, easily, walk home in a few hours.”

      You don’t understand the scope of a forced 4 hour walk. Get a Lifestraw, or better yet a Berkey Sport (the bottle can carry along water, unlike the Lifestraw), or some other option for procuring water. They take up minimal space, and in a bad situation (you are already walking home, who is to say you’ll make it in 4 hours), could save your bacon. (Bacon saving is high on my importance list.)

      I live 5 hours south of the state line inf Florida. Water IS something to include in your get home plan.

  • dink winkerson June 24, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Take the insert out of the case, put your gear on a molly vest, put the vest in the case. Just a thought.

  • Dan June 24, 2014, 11:28 am

    Your article shows a flashlight from a company named four sevens. Take the four 7’s and connect them at their base. Thats who you’re sending your money to. Lets quit supporting these people with the thinly veiled codes in their company names. i.e. 7777, 88,18, etc. They’re NAZI wannabes.

    • Dan June 24, 2014, 11:35 am

      Yes .when will you decide if it gets posted/

  • B. Young June 23, 2014, 11:39 pm

    After reading the comments and rereading the article I think this more of a storage/organizing device for weapons than a carry with me propper go bag. “It will fit in a messenger bag” meaning while stored in a vehicle not really atracting attention. In a “situation” you open the case load up what you need leave the rest and the case. My go bags have a weapon but I also have supplemental smaller bags like this with extra weapons mags and ammo if the situation warrants. I do like the fact that if a slot is empty “I’m missing something” is obvious unlike a backpack that may or may not be missing some small important item that isn’t obvious from just a look thru the stuff in the bag.

    • Dave Higginbotham June 24, 2014, 6:18 pm

      The messenger bag is more for obfuscation. There are times that I don’t want to leave this in the car, so I take it with me. I have other bags with other essentials; those can stay in the car. I’m less concerned with someone stealing my sleeping bag.

  • CJ June 23, 2014, 8:34 pm

    When you talked about a “get home gun”, I would have thought you meant something a bit more substantial than another CC weapon. How about an AR or AK pistol, or SBR. Either one of those with a 3 mag pouch would provide significant security, especially if paired with your normal CC weapon. As far as all the other stuff, I work construction and carry almost all of the items you discribed. Just not as organised.

  • J.o June 23, 2014, 3:38 pm

    IFAK for sure never know when you might need it. This was a awesome review other wise.

  • Hawk June 23, 2014, 2:41 pm

    I’m kind of confused about the whole thing. If you just need to get home, just start walking. Why do you need a loadout? I ccw so I’d have my gun,flashlight and folder on me, but why all the other junk? Unless there is a zombie apocalypse or you live in a war torn country, I see no need for a trauma kit, rifle, 4 mags and extra ammo. I mean, how far are you walking? And where are you that you’re never going to pass a house, if in assistance? Is everyone an enemy? I’m all for being prepared, this just goes a little into the fantastical overboard for me. Guys live out in the wilderness with not much more than a fixed blade and environmental know how. If you are knowingly going into a harsh condition (hiking, crossing a vast distance on a lightly followed route, etc) I could see the need for something like this, but not for getting stuck in traffic for a day with hundreds/thousands of other people in the same situation. These are always entertaining though.

    • Craig June 24, 2014, 5:37 pm

      Exactly. The example given was the Atlanta ice storm last winter. Other than the cell phone charger, I’m not sure why you need 174 rounds of 9mm to survive a night in a cold car. I’d take a sleeping bag, some food and water over that.

      That said, I like these articles because if nothing else they force you to think about worst case scenarios.

      Also, the Inforce APL is garbage. I had 2 break from very little use.

  • CJ June 23, 2014, 2:27 pm

    You’re a student of ballistics and you carry Critical Defense and Guard Dog? Is that a joke?

  • Bob Johnson June 23, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Again with the Glocks. ” The gun doesn’t have any manual safeties (other than the trigger block), which makes it an intuitive gun in stressful situations.” and makes it dangerous as hell in a stressful situation or in a moment of fatigue or in a moment of absentmindedness or anytime Murphy has his finger in your eye…. Glocks have more accidents than any other gun out there BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO SAFETY.

    • ShawnK July 14, 2014, 6:30 am

      Drum roll….And here it is!
      In a stressful situation the last thing I want is a safety or anything else to dick around with.
      However, my finger is NOT groping the trigger unless I am 100% positive I will fire.
      I NEVER put my finger on any trigger, including power tools, until I am absolutely ready to go.
      I watched guys on construction sites carrying Skill saws, the guard locked up and blade fully extended.
      Their finger wrapped firmly around the trigger, while tripping on boards, into holes and slipping & sliding on wet decking.
      Even with a guard, you trip, squeeze and fall, I guarantee you could find counting to ten, walking or both a whole new experience.

    • Dave Hapney August 11, 2014, 11:34 pm

      I have been shooting, carrying, and a student of guns for more than 25 years and have never seen/heard/read anything about Glocks having more “accidents” than any other gun…Can you please provide some credible evidence to back up the statement you made?

    • Mike DeRusha June 19, 2015, 8:22 am

      I agree. Not having a manual safety has no real merit except on a DA only gun with a heavy trigger pull that is carried in a pocket.
      “Snags” are a worry of grandma in her Sunday sweater. If you are “planning” for a quick draw shootout. You watch too many movies.
      My scenario is dealing with some assjack trying to rob a store, or someone trying to infest my home at 3am. Not an old west dual at high noon.

  • Mike June 23, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Do you live in or near a warzone? Why would you ever need up to 174 rounds of 9mm and a combat knife and sheath just to get home in one piece? I say ditch all that weight…keep the pistol, 2 mags one with FMJ one with HP or alternate. Keep the flashlight. Add some energy bars, a stash of water bottles, a small was of cash in various bills, and a compact basic GPS unit chargeable by your car battery. Extra cell battery and charger was also good idea. I just question what scenario you’re really preparing for with your kit.

    • Don June 24, 2014, 12:05 am

      Mike said ” 2 mags one with FMJ one with HP or alternate”.

      What is the purpose of the FMJ rounds in your loadout?

      • Dave Higginbotham June 24, 2014, 6:16 pm

        The FMJs are there for practice, mostly. I foolishly neglected to mention that I carry this to the range, too. That’s why I’ve got so many mags, and so much ammo. I would typically carry the two 17 mags, and one in the gun.

  • jay June 23, 2014, 12:03 pm

    For those of you who live in reasonable parts of the country where concealed carry permits are possible, much of what you suggest is doable, but i live in New York state. yes i know, i’m relocating next year.Here, even if you have a permit it has restrictions. my permit is not valid in n.y. city nor is it valid if i’m not going to or coming from the range or hunting, & if you are caught violating these rules it’s as though you don’t have a permit at all & you will be charged with a felony. The only viable solution is to carry a long gun. And before you suggest an AR-15 or such they need to be registered and no magazine that is capable of holding more than seven rounds is legal to posses, if caught you can get up to one year. So your best and only reasonable solution is the old double barrel shotgun. These can be broken down & carried in a rolled up sleeping bag which can also be used to help keep you warm. New York has NOT officially succeeded from the United States but it seames so. My suggestion for use of a taken down shotgun is viable no matter where you live and its appearance is most formidable and intimidating which may stop a potential problem before it starts.

    • Sgt Ducttape January 6, 2015, 2:31 pm

      Jay, I hope your move was successful. In line with your train of thought I would like to add this: http://chiappafirearms.com/product/2629 the Triple Threat! Pare that with some Short Lane adapters (gunadapters.com) and you got some protection and fun as well!

    • Mike DeRusha June 19, 2015, 8:15 am

      I hope the people in your state will stand up and change those laws!
      Drive these weak willed fools deep into their beloved hives and wall them in so they can coward each other to death.

  • Craig Ramsey June 23, 2014, 12:01 pm

    I’d like to valet park your car/truck sometime. This kit wouldn’t last a year where I live.
    What did you need 174 rounds for? The ATF/FBI? I’d trade some candy bars for a few clips or a blanket.

    • Miguel September 1, 2014, 1:17 pm

      Get into a gun fight sometime and figure out why you need 174 rounds. I used to carry my agency issued 46 rounds for work now it’s 136.

    • Miguel September 1, 2014, 1:17 pm

      Get into a gun fight sometime and figure out why you need 174 rounds. I used to carry my agency issued 46 rounds for work now it’s 136.

    • Mike DeRusha June 19, 2015, 8:12 am

      I only carry 6 to 15 rounds day to day. Not a lot of reason for more than what youd have on you normally.
      I agree with you. I’d rather have food or a vest than 200 rounds to fight somebody for one.

  • Seethruher June 23, 2014, 11:21 am

    the case is a very poor choice as it requires carrying by hand and looks valuable.

    It organizes well, so if you are going to use it to hold your gear then transfer all that gear to your body, or into another bag great..otherwise…very poor choice other than for storage…excellent for long term storage

  • Seethruher June 23, 2014, 11:19 am

    the case is a very poor choice as it requires carrying by hand and looks valuable.

    It organizes well, so if you are going to use it to hold your gear then transfer all that gear to your body, or into another bag great..otherwise…very poor choice other than for storage…excellent for long term storage

  • Russ June 23, 2014, 10:55 am

    Thanks for the great tips.
    Very usefull info.

  • Junior June 23, 2014, 10:24 am

    A carbine in the same caliber, and that will accept your pistol mag is a great addition. I went with the Just Right Carbine but there are other, more economical options such as the Kel-Tech sub 2000.

    • Marty June 24, 2014, 7:48 am

      The hi – point 9 MM carbine is a good low priced carbine ( was, haven’t checked lately ) useing pistol ammo .

  • kerry June 23, 2014, 9:39 am

    ….. and ready to be borrowed with the “Steal Me” sign on it ( esp in a truck or jeep). Better to stash it in a fake bag of garbage or dirty laundry.

  • James Taylor June 23, 2014, 8:56 am

    You should try being a truck driver and prepare for survival . By law we can’t carry firearms in our trucks , every state has its own warped gun laws. Even knives are limited in their blade style & length in several states like Michigan where blade length can only be 3.25″. Even then no double edged blades. Impact weapons or things that can pass as work related must be thought about. Its difficult when your sent to the worst parts of large cities more or less defenseless.

    • Mike June 23, 2014, 2:50 pm

      There is no federal law that says a commercial truck driver cannot carry a firearm, unless something very recently passed.

      • JORY September 2, 2014, 7:17 am

        You are correct, but as he stated state laws vary. Trucking for over 20+ years forces you to make a decision on that basis. Also many companies do not allow weapons, firearms, in their commercial vehicles or even your own when leased to them. It all comes down to how much you value your life if it is worth the risk or not.

        • Mike DeRusha June 19, 2015, 8:08 am

          I’d say its a decision between asking permission or saying “sorry”.
          And protection really isnt something i feel the need to ask permission for.

  • S June 23, 2014, 8:43 am

    Maybe a small bottle of oil (Hoppe’s Elite oil for instance comes in a rather small bottle) and a bore snack just in case. These could fit in the empty dividers of your current case.

    Vehicle: You may consider a tire pump for your car which runs off of the cigarette lighter. Black and Decker makes one which is rather small, has a rather long cord, and shuts off at whatever pressure you set the analog dial to. It is a bit loud but fills tires from total flat to 35 lbs in about 10 minutes. Top ups are around 5 minutes. It will keep you moving but not waiting outside your vehicle in the elements or in the dark with your awareness directed at the ground and a pump dial. It is also very light & only necessary to have in your vehicle. It has saved me many 30 minute waits for AAA and extended my gas tank by topping of my tires to proper pressures. A 2.5 gallon gas can in the trunk can do the same. Even if you only get 15 mpg that’s still a distance of 37.5 miles away from what may be a neighborhood or underpass you’d rather not be near for longer than it takes to empty that can (or less!). One container of premixed coolant for your vehicle is a good idea too. If your car stalls or you get a suddenly sizeable leak it may get you far enough to get a room for the night, a safer location, or to a mechanic with better tools in greater abundance. It’s a good thing to have and forget about until you need it. I also have needle nose pliers, adjustable wrench, a socket set, duct tape, spare headlight bulbs, washer fluid, combination wrench set, mechanix gloves, jumper cables, a metal mash hammer, and a piece of rolled up 3’x3′ cardboard (for kneeling on, laying on, traction, a side/ rear window patch, or as a fire starter whichever comes first.). All of the vehicle items ride in my car’s small trunk in a milk crate along with a folding Gerber entrenching tool and room to spare. The cardboard lays flat underneath and a bungee secures the crate by running through the crate frame and attaching the ends to the trunk lid supports. I mention the car kit only because you say you live in the sticks and the near miss you had with the winter storm. Better your get home kit ride next to you in your own vehicle at 45 mph than swinging at your side at 4mph at best.

    Turning back to your get home kit:
    A power or clif bar (to get you through the next few miles), and a bottle of water or two (dehydration will impact your cognitive processes quickly and when combined with temperature extremes or exertion can be quickly taxing) would be a great addition. There are attachments for some messenger bags for water bottles and always room to cram a few Cliff Bars into. They’re the size of a deck of cards and last long enough.

    A bare essentials first aid kit may be of use too. EMS/military “twist” tourniquet, small tube of antibiotic, a small bottle of aspirin, a few band-aids, a couple 4×4 gauze pads, some roller gauze to secure them, and a cravat for an improvised sling may be of welcome comfort in even the most garbage situation. The tourniquet, if you need it, will need to be applied quickly. Having to empty your web belt of it’s load and then apply it to the affected limb is time consuming. For the minimum space it takes up it’s a worthwhile addition if you need it. I have one in my range bag and transfer it to my pocket at the range because you never know. Even the most simple of first aid kits are good to have. If you can do for yourself you can boost your spirits and push the next mile. That being said, a pair of dry socks balled into the bottom of your messenger bag is great too. Dry feet make a new man out of a drowned rat.

    Looking at your kit it appears you have a taste for items of minimum size with maximum benefit. Knowing that my recommendations would increase the dimensions of the case, I understand the complexity of making any adaptations to your current setup. If you go the route of placing your case in a messenger bag you can add the personal items listed above without adding much weight at all (as long as you keep to the bare minimums I’ve mentioned). The vehicle kit as I said, just remains in the vehicle.

    I’ve waited to the end to share something about myself with you. I’m an Eagle Scout, professional firefighter, and EMT. As a result, “Be prepared”, is an overarching theme in my life. Not one if these items that I’ve listed have gone unused in my kit (save for the tourniquet & improvised sling and I’d like to keep it that way!!!).

    Weather, injury, accident, and compromised safety can be mitigated if not avoided completely if you have the tools at hand to do so. “You can’t carry a cop on your back…” (nor an ambulance or mechanic shop) but you might be able to reach one if you do it right.

    Best of luck to you and thank you for this great article!

  • Scott Thomas June 23, 2014, 8:07 am

    I would think some sort of water purification and a way to light a fire would be essential there as well. A solar or crank powered radio, a compass and a map would also be things that I would recommend for your kit. All of those things could fit into that case. Maybe remove one clip for the radio. Being able to fight your way home is one thing, doing so only to die from a water borne illness defeats the purpose.

  • Vanns40 June 23, 2014, 7:30 am

    No gripe with anything except your choice of ammo. Hornady has spent millions on advertising but the sad truth is that when you get into the weeds of testing, their ammo failed all the critical tests. We can’t just fire rounds into ballistic gel and say “wow, this expands, it’s good” anymore. There are a lot of other variables that have to be considered such as clothing, penetration when it comes to vehicles etc.

    There ARE many very good rounds out there like Gold Dot, Golden Sabre, Federal HST, HydroShock and Winchester SXT to name a few. Hornady is not one of them.

    • todd a bull June 23, 2014, 8:24 pm

      I am a big fan of hydroshock ammo I use it for my home defense round, it stays in the house if you miss. (Except windows)

  • SmokeHillFarm June 23, 2014, 6:45 am

    Excellent basic kit. Since I’m retired and very seldom leave the farm anymore I don’t have a Get Home Bag in the vehicle, just an old snubnose .38 and a box of shells. I need to set up something better, for those admittedly rare occasions where I have to drive 60 miles to a VA hospital appointment.

    For breakdowns a good distance from home, we should also have some other gear in the vehicle in case of a disaster, especially in the winter. Warm clothing, some bottled water, energy bars (or similar food) — just as a starter kit.

  • Brian June 23, 2014, 5:44 am

    1. Where are you carrying all this stuff? The case is nice for storage but is no use in a real situation. You look to have much more stuff than you can fit in pockets unless you’re wearing cargo pants 24/7. I’d rather have some kind of LBE with everything sorted out that I can rapidly pull out and put on. You’re going to open that case and.. do what? spend 5 minutes figuring out where to put everything and then not know where to get it when you need it?

    2. More importantly, where’s the other stuff you’ll probably need? You used the snowstorm example – how about a bivvy for warmth and a compact crowbar. Maybe a small medical kit, fire starters. Knives are not actually that useful in an urban environment. Given the choice I’d take a good crowbar – you can get into buildings, break many locks, break open just about anything, etc.. Realistically carry both.

    • S June 23, 2014, 8:47 am

      Nice addition with the crowbar. As a firefighter I’ll tell you those are one of the “keys to the city”. There’re some other tools I like better but I’m not sharing those with the possible burglar in training who stumbles across this page.

      • Evan June 23, 2014, 7:49 pm

        We used hooligan tools for breaking into places where we were unwanted in Iraq. Beats a crowbar any day.

        • Dan January 2, 2015, 9:43 am


  • Tom June 23, 2014, 5:17 am


    Over all nice article. I prefer to carry a backpack style bag. Can blend in as a book bag on our around a campus or fits if hiking or as a travel bag.

    Biggest thing I see, or don’t see is a first aid kit or at least a self contained, sealed trauma kit.

    Keep it up. I’ll definitely check out link to case and foam software. I have several areas that would be handy. Oh, you may want to consider a hand held ham radio. Being able to monitor police and weather is worth it and you only need to get your license if your going to transmit. And in a emergency license or not call for help. Just make sure you know to use it and what frequencies are in use in your area. Baofeng radio’s are under a hundred with a better antenna and some type of spare battery included. I recommend a AA or AAA battery adapter.

  • Sam June 23, 2014, 5:07 am

    A compact bolt or lever action rifle in a decent caliber is a handy thing to have, and can be hidden fairly easily in a folding camp chair bag. I kept one in the vehicle at all times when I was working in the far hinterlands of SC. I never needed it, but I always felt better knowing it was there.

  • swissbianco June 23, 2014, 3:52 am

    you miss an apocalypse green swiss army knife like the farmer or micro farmer

  • Rick June 22, 2014, 9:33 pm

    Medical and a meal. I carry a boo-boo kit band aids you know light to medium first aid and a trauma-kit. I use a Dark Angel mini-pocket doc and carry it in a cell phone carrier. Boo-boo kit and munchies are in my bag. Really like your idea of carrying kit in a box. Is this an extra weapon other than your conceal carry?

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